ESnet IPv6 History



ESnet has worked with IPv6 for many years, and has been centrally involved in pioneering activities and deployments in support of IPv6. 

In anticipation of the scalability problems with IPv4 (the current Internet Protocol), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has produced a comprehensive set of specifications that define the next generation Internet Protocol known as IPv6.

ESnet has been working to make the integration of IPv6 with IPv4 as seamless as possible for our customers. ESnet was an early participant in the 6bone IPv6 testbed project, and provided overall management for the 6bone until the 6bone was decommissioned. ESnet also received the first production IPv6 address allocation in July 1999.


21 February 2002


ESnet expands 6TAP services in Chicago to the new StarLight optical STAR TAP facility.

    StarLight has been developed by an international research collaboration to provide for more advanced optical communications facilities for STAR TAP participants. ESnet has met the need for IPv6 connectivity at StarLight by providing additional IPv6 peering services at the StarLight Northwestern University site in addition to those at the original STAR TAP Chicago NAP site in downtown Chicago.

>> Read more about StarLight at:

August 2001


ESnet first to place new Juniper IPv6 implementation into production service.

    Starting at ESnet's testing lab in Berkeley, CA, the first Juniper router IPv6 implementation was perfected and proven out by ESnet and Juniper routing engineers. Afterwards, the Juniper IPv6 router was placed into early production at the PAIX-PA IPv6 peering point as part of the ESnet 6DPT project, becoming the first Juniper IPv6 router in production.

August 2001


ESnet brings 6DPT online at PAIX/PA

    ESnet has established its IPv6 distributed peering testbed (6DPT) located at the Palo Alto Internet Exchange (PAIX), in Palo Alto, CA. Initially the 6DPT connects peers to the two 6TAP locations in Chicago. In the future other 6TAP and 6DPT sites will be added.

19 July 1999


ARIN, the American Registry for Internet Numbers allocates the first production IPv6 address in the world to the Energy Sciences Network.

    After two years of intense negotiation and policy planning between the IETF and the three international IP address registries, APNIC, ARIN and RIPE, agreement was reached on policies and methods for allocating IPv6 address prefixes. ESnet helped this process with various policy recommendations and was given the honor of becoming the first Internet Service Provider in the world to be allocated a production IPv6 address prefix.